Aug 02

How to Get Into NYU: Complete Guide

NYU Campus

If your child is an ambitious student who has a passion for discovering various cultures and studying among other young leaders who share similar interests, you should strongly consider having them submit an application to New York University. NYU was established in 1831 with the purpose of providing a global education to its students. Because of this intentional focus, NYU is the ideal educational institution for students who want to place an emphasis on their ability to express themselves creatively and innovate.


The university’s commitment to fostering understanding across cultural boundaries can be shown in a variety of ways. Students at this institution come from more than a hundred different nations, which contributes to the rich cultural atmosphere of the campus and the student body. The first campus of New York University is located in New York City, while the second and third campuses are located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Shanghai, China respectively.


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Students at New York University have access to not just the university’s three major campuses but also eleven study-away sites, which provide both educational and travel possibilities abroad. Over sixty percent of NYU’s undergraduate students take advantage of study abroad opportunities, traveling to places like Germany, Argentina, Italy, Ghana, Spain, France, Israel, London, the Czech Republic, and Australia, among other countries.


The famous academics and philosophers who have a significant impact on society teach NYU students in the classroom. Students get the opportunity to create ties with recipients of prestigious awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Turing Award, the Nobel Prize, as well as the Grammy, the Emmy, and the Academy Award. The student-to-faculty ratio at this institution is 9 to 1.


On any given day, students at NYU study in a variety of countries and across a variety of time zones, but they all receive the same high-quality education. An Economics student at NYU in New York would enroll in a class titled “Poverty and Income Distribution,” whereas an Economics major in Abu Dhabi might study “Oil and Energy in the Middle East,” and an Economics major in Shanghai might enroll in a class titled “Modern Economic Growth: Explore China.” And despite the fact that tens of thousands of miles divide them, they are linked together by the community and spirit of NYU.


After NYU, graduate students become members of an alumni network that includes more than 500,000 people. It is not surprising that 95 percent of NYU graduates find employment or enroll in graduate school within six months of receiving their degree because the university has produced notable alumni in virtually every field, from award-winning actors and actresses to chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies to prime ministers and presidents.


If your child is not the only one whose enthusiasm is piqued by the prospect of attending such a prestigious institution as New York University (NYU), and they are not the only ones seeking to uncover the key to gaining admission there. Every year, more than one hundred thousand students submit applications to attend NYU, making the fight for admission exceedingly difficult. In this article, we will go over the NYU acceptance rate, the NYU admissions requirements, and the NYU application in order to assist your child in making their dream of attending NYU a reality.


NYU ranking
  • Forbes: 80

  • Niche: 42

  • U.S. News & World Report: 28

  • Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education: 26


NYU Campus Locations


The three campuses of New York University that are authorized to confer degrees are dispersed across some of the world’s most interesting and dynamic cities. The first campus of New York University was established in the Greenwich Village district of Manhattan, a section of the city that takes great pride in its status as a thriving center for the arts, culture, and entertainment. Students can visit illustrious museums, theaters, and galleries in addition to well-known tourist destinations such as Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square by taking a short ride on the subway.


Saadiyat Island is the location of the New York University campus that opened in Abu Dhabi in 2010. One of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is situated in close proximity to both Dubai and the nation of Saudi Arabia. Students have the opportunity to go to all seven emirates by participating in activities coordinated by their colleges. These activities focus on helping students develop an appreciation for the diverse religious and cultural traditions that are prevalent in the Middle East.


New York University established its most recent campus in Shanghai, China, in 2013. This endeavor was a collaboration with East China Normal University. The campus of New York University in Shanghai is located in the Pudong financial area, which is located just a few miles inland from the East China Sea. Pudong is the largest metropolis in China. Shanghai is widely regarded as a significant global financial center, and the city’s skyline is characterized by futuristic skyscrapers and a famous waterfront promenade. Students from all over the world will find that this location is ideal for networking, education, and personal development.


NYU setting


Urban. Each of NYU’s campuses is situated smack dab in the heart of the action that is taking place in their respective cities, and the university takes great pride in its status as a “distinctly urban university.” Students attending NYU have the ability to participate in cultural activities, take advantage of excellent employment prospects, and have experiences that they will never forget, regardless of where they choose to study.


Greenwich Village is well-known for its tree-lined streets, jazz clubs, and Off-Broadway theaters. It is also the location of the New York campus of New York University (NYU). Students at New York University can congregate, study, or simply take pleasure in watching the diverse inhabitants of New York City while the university is located near to the famous Washington Square Park. There are a great many cafes, restaurants, and marketplaces within a short strolling distance of the university. These places offer everything from quick service to high-end fine dining. Students at NYU probably don’t get much sleep because they live in the city that never sleeps, but it’s easy to believe that they do.


Students from New York University who are studying on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi frequently go off campus to do things like go shopping at local markets, eat lunch in neighboring parks, investigate art galleries, and take walks along the Persian Gulf. Students get the opportunity to cultivate relationships within the community, improve their Arabic language skills, and enhance their understanding of how other cultures interact with one another when they fully immerse themselves in the culture of the area.


As there are more than 24 million people who call Shanghai home, it is not difficult for students of NYU Shanghai to find things to do, places to eat, and new acquaintances as they go throughout the city. Students at New York University can participate in programs such as This is China and Project OutReach, which are designed to teach them how to make traditional Chinese pottery, practice martial arts, or serve the local community by planting trees and performing at homes for the elderly. Other options include learning how to make traditional Chinese ink paintings.


NYU student population


  • Undergraduate students: 29,700

  • Graduate students: 18,300


NYU acceptance rate


The following is a breakdown of admissions data pertaining to the class of 2025:

  • Applications: 100,131

  • Acceptances: ~12,800

  • Matriculants: ~6,500

  • Acceptance rate: 12.8%


Who is allowed to attend NYU?


If your child is interested in studying at New York University (NYU), an excellent place to begin would be to research the academic records and applicant profiles of students who were accepted. The following are some statistics pertaining to the class of 2024:

  • A total of 79 percent of accepted students placed in the top 10 percent of their respective high school graduating classes.

  • NYU average GPA: 3.7

    • 25th percentile: 3.5

    • 75th percentile: 3.9

  • NYU average ACT score: 32

    • 25th percentile: 30

    • 75th percentile: 34

  • NYU average SAT score: 1430

    • 25th percentile: 1350

    • 75th percentile: 1530

  • Out of State Students: 66%

  • International Students: 16%

  • First Generation Students: 15%

  • Asian American or Asian: 20%

  • Caucasian: 20%

  • Hispanic or Latino: 15%

  • African American or Black: 7%

  • Multiracial: 4%

  • Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaii, or Pacific Islander: <1%


The health professions, the liberal arts and sciences, the performing and visual arts, the social sciences, business, management, and marketing, and the liberal arts and sciences are the most popular majors at New York University. The most popular majors in NYU include, health professions, liberal arts and sciences, performing and visual arts, social sciences, business, management and marketing. 


NYU Admissions Criteria


Your child should place a primary emphasis throughout high school on three primary areas of achievement: academic rigor, high test scores, and in-depth extracurricular activities. This will help your child stand out among other competitive applicants and have a strong chance of being admitted to NYU.


The following is a list of the minimal class requirements that must be met in order to apply to NYU as a freshman.

  • English/writing: 4 years

  • History/social studies: 3–4 years

  • Math: 3–4 years

  • Lab science: 3–4 years

  • Foreign language: 3–4 years


Following the basic requirements, however, won’t show your child’s complete potential or their suitability for NYU. Your child should enroll in four years of each of the major academic topics mentioned above to make a better impression on the NYU admissions committee. Additionally, they’ll want to push themselves to enroll in challenging courses, particularly those in their areas of interest.


For instance, it would be beneficial for your child to enroll in honors, AP, IB, or dual-enrollment science and math classes at whatever level they are capable of if they intend to pursue a career in the health professions. This will show how serious your child is about a career in medicine and whether they have what it takes to succeed in the demanding science courses they’ll take at NYU.


NYU test specifications


NYU has created a flexible testing policy to make it more accessible to students from all backgrounds. One of the following items must be submitted by candidates in order to be considered for admission:


  • SAT score

  • ACT score

  • IB diploma

  • 3 SAT Subject Test scores

  • 3 AP exam scores

  • 3 IB higher-level exam scores (if IB diploma not earned)

  • Other international examination (many different options can be approved by NYU)


The testing criterion can be satisfied in whichever way works best for the applicant—each alternative is equally valuable in the eyes of the NYU admissions committee.


It’s important to note that NYU has implemented a temporary test-optional policy for the 2021–2022 admissions cycle in response to the massive SAT and ACT test cancellations. Whether test scores are submitted, not submitted, or submitted after the regular deadlines, all students applying to enroll at NYU in Fall 2022 will be given equal consideration for admission.


Prerequisites for extracurricular activities at NYU


Although your child may pass the initial NYU admissions screening with a high academic record and test scores, it will be their extracurricular activities that will distinguish them as a standout applicant.


The time your child spends away from the classroom is important. We recommend an alternative extracurricular strategy rather than packing it full of endeavors designed to make students seem “well-rounded” to universities. Your youngster should decide on the key areas of their interests and then actively pursue those in original and creative ways, becoming an expert in that particular area.


For instance, if your child has a strong interest in business and entrepreneurship, they should give those activities top priority. They might take on leadership positions in a relevant group they join or found in high school. They could register in student training programs or summer programs with a business theme. But they should also engage in self-directed activities, like coming up with a thorough business strategy, opening their own company, or contacting local businesspeople to ask for favorable internships. Your child will become a standout applicant to NYU if they take the initiative and exhibit focused ambition.


Students looking for an added advantage in the admissions process could highlight a worldwide interest through their extracurricular activities given NYU’s distinctive international focus. Traveling abroad for leisure, service, or educational purposes is a clear method to do this. Without leaving the nation, there are numerous ways to participate in varied societies. Your child might pick up a new language, participate in local ethnic groups’ cultural events, or study and honor particular customs from another country.


For instance, the Japanese tea ceremony is a creative and spiritual practice that necessitates calligraphy, art, and philosophy coursework. If your child is interested in Japanese culture, they can seek out a Japanese mentor, carefully study the details of this ceremony, and, when they’re ready, hold a formal gathering for their friends or neighborhood. This would demonstrate a genuine, deep appreciation for various civilizations.


Application requirements for NYU


Your senior may be prepared to apply to NYU after years of excelling in challenging curriculum, prepping to ace standardized tests, and pursuing targeted extracurriculars. The prerequisites for applying to NYU are listed below.


  • A finished Common Application, including the Activities Section and Common App Essay.

  • High school diploma

  • A high school counselor wrote one report for the school.

  • one or two letters of recommendation from teachers

  • Test results to satisfy flexible testing policy at NYU

  • College credentials for any dual-enrolled courses done are optional.

  • Your child will need to submit an audition tape or a portfolio in order to be considered for admission to the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

  • A portfolio or audition must be submitted by your child if they are applying to the Tisch School of the Arts.


Early vs. Regular Decision applications to NYU


If your child has made the decision to apply to NYU, they still need to select how to do so. It’s critical to comprehend the differences between the three admissions alternatives offered by NYU so you can guide your child in making the best decision possible.


NYU Early Decision I

  • Application deadline: November 1st

  • Admissions notification: December 15th

  • Accepted, rejected, or deferred to normal decision are all possible outcomes.

  • If approved, applicants must drop all other applications and enroll at NYU.


NYU Early Decision II

  • Application deadline: January 1st

  • Admissions notification: February 16th

  • Possible decisions: Accepted, denied, or deferred to regular decision 

  • If accepted, students must enroll at NYU and withdraw all other applications


NYU Regular Decision

  • Application deadline: January 5th

  • Admissions notification: April 1st

  • Possible outcomes include acceptance, denial, or wait listing.

  • Students are not required to attend NYU even if accepted. Before choosing a school, they might contrast acceptance rates and financial aid packages offered by other institutions.


It’s crucial to remember that early decision I and early decision II are legally binding, which means that if your child receives an acceptance offer, they agree to attend NYU. The only circumstances in which a student may reject an early decision offer from NYU are when their financial aid package falls short of meeting their needs or when they aren’t admitted to the main campus, school, or program they specified on their application.


How do you decide whether to submit your child’s application to NYU via early decision or regular decision?


Your child might think about submitting an application for early decision I or early decision II admissions if NYU is their top college choice and they would be fully committed to attending if accepted. Will they have enough time to finish the best version of their application by November 1st? That is the main deciding element in which option to choose. If they feel pressured, it might be advantageous for them to take an extra two months to polish their application.

However, if money is tight and your child wants to compare financial aid packages from the other universities they apply to, they should wait and apply to NYU through the standard decision process.


The 2021–2022 additional essay from NYU (example included)


The supplemental essay that NYU demands of its applicants is a thorough explanation of “Why NYU?” that enables applicants to demonstrate their interest in and suitability for this esteemed school. Before providing a sample essay, let’s examine and analyze the prompt.


Your interest in NYU would be of interest to us. Why did you decide to apply to NYU? Why did you apply to or show interest in the campus, school, college, program, or field of study that you did? Please explain why you are interested in these additional campuses or fields of study if you have applied to more than one. We’re curious as to why NYU. (400 maximum words)


A prompt this long merits some explanation. Although “Why NYU?” can be used to sum up the entire essay prompt, there are numerous important aspects that NYU wants applicants to highlight in their answer.


  • Why they are applying to a specific campus of NYU (either New York, Abu Dhabi, or Shanghai)

  • Reasons for applying to a particular school or college

  • Why they decided to pursue a certain program or field of study


If you look closely, you’ll notice that this prompt instructs students to combine the questions “Why NYU?” and “Why this major?” into a single essay of no more than 400 words. It’s not an easy job! So how should students start their essay for NYU?


They could start by listing the parts of NYU they enjoy the most. Is it the setting, the emphasis on the world, the chances provided, the vibrant student body, or the solid faculty relationships? It should take a lot of effort and investigation to complete this process. Candidates should be able to exhibit deep understanding of and fervent interest in NYU.


Students should have a number of reasons why they adore NYU after conducting this study, which may involve browsing the website, speaking with existing students, and visiting campus. The main goal of the essay is to relate these many motives to the student’s prior experiences, successes, or specified future objectives. If written well, the NYU essay should demonstrate how a student might gain from an education at NYU and give back to the student body in novel ways.


Here’s a sample NYU essay.


As an Army brat, I’ve moved around a lot—living in a different state or country every few years. Now I actually have trouble staying in the same place. When visiting colleges, I frequently had this sinking feeling about being trapped in monotony on a single campus. But that’s not what I felt when I visited NYU. Instead, I felt the vibrancy and diversity of the NYU community, and I knew that no two days on the New York campus would ever be the same. I heard students speaking many different languages—some familiar and others not. I realized the students at NYU could uniquely understand my wanderlust and desire to chase new experiences.


I’m applying to the College of Arts and Sciences so I can encounter classmates with diverse interests and ways of thinking. My career goal is to study human development, but I’m happy my CAS Cohort won’t include solely other psychology majors. I want to see the world through the eyes of friends who have different passions than mine. This same desire drove me to start a Roundtable Discussion Club at school where we help each other understand current events and issues in new ways.


Studying psychology at NYU excites me because of the many undergraduate research opportunities available. I hope to join Dr. Cimpian’s Cognitive Development Lab and study children’s academic motivation and achievement. As someone who was frequently “the new kid” growing up, I became fascinated by the different ways kids acted in school. Dr. Cimpian’s unique research could help me reach my goal of studying socio-cognitive development in children internationally. Ideally, I would like to join the Psychology Honors Program and have Dr. Cimpian be a faculty mentor for my Honors Thesis.


While I hope to have several study away experience at NYU, I’m most interested in traveling to NYU Shanghai. In particular, I would love to take the Parenting and Culture psychology course offered there. I’ve experienced the differences of living in collectivist versus individualist societies, but I want to gain better insight into how our different cultural values shape our social and psychological development. 


I’m excited to use my experiences and passions to add to the diversity and vibrancy of NYU. At the same time, I am eager to take advantage of NYU resources and faculty to grow as a person, expand my academic horizons, and prepare for a career in psychological research.


Let’s examine why this essay is effective. The applicant responds to each section of the prompt, elaborating on why they selected the particular campus, college, and major they did. Their justifications weren’t stuff you could readily discover in an information brochure and were particularly specialized to NYU. However, the strongest parts of the essay come from when the applicant demonstrates how their prior experiences and long-term objectives precisely match particular aspects of NYU.


The following are mistakes students make when writing the NYU essay:


  • Writing about the standing or reputation of NYU.

  • Describing the area or the climate without mentioning NYU specifically. Columbia is also located in New York City. Candidates must demonstrate a passion for NYU, not simply for the locations of its campuses.)

  • Listing NYU’s benefits without mentioning the student’s background or objectives.


The NYU essay is wonderful because it compels applicants to name their favorite aspects of NYU. Maybe your child was drawn to NYU because of its reputation or location (which are both excellent reasons! ), but after conducting this research and writing, they will be able to articulate why NYU is the ideal school for them.


Closing Thoughts

Many high-achieving students with interests in creativity, innovation, and cultural discovery choose NYU as their dream school. Although there will be stiff competition for your child’s application, demonstrating their suitability for NYU through demanding coursework and purposeful extracurricular activities can improve their chances of being accepted. And if they submit a passionate, personal NYU additional essay, they might just be able to realize their aspirations of enrolling in NYU.

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